A survey by The Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP), of which The Children’s Trust is a founder member, has revealed that families feel locked out and abandoned by Government and by society, and are fearful for their own physical and mental health.
You can read the full report on the survey here.
The DCP demands that Government recognises and respects disabled children’s increasingly vulnerable situation during the pandemic, and prioritises disabled children as the most in need.
Dalton Leong, Chief Executive of The Children’s Trust, said: “Our survey shows the stark reality for so many families throughout the country. We have a responsibility to be a voice for these families.
"Some families of disabled children feel abandoned in lockdown, dealing with intense pressures as support is minimal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families with disabled children are crying out for more support. Education, therapies, short breaks and equipment have been reduced or are inaccessible. Families have filled this void for 12 weeks but it is not sustainable.
"As members of the Disabled Children’s Partnership, we are asking the Government to fund education, health and social care support for these children and their families."
Sotanis Thomas is mum to 9-year-old Rhea, who has complex health conditions and disabilities. Rhea was involved in a car accident as a baby, which resulted in a brain injury. She has epilepsy, can't speak and uses a wheelchair. Rhea received intensive rehabilitation at The Children’s Trust for her brain injury.
Rhea was attending school five days a week before lockdown, where she received specialist care, education and therapies.
Sotanis said: “We’re all exhausted. We have three other children and they’ve had to chip in to help out with Rhea’s care. We feel that she’s missing out on so much, by not being in school. She was really thriving with her therapies but we can’t continue that type of support at home, unfortunately.
"And while the school is now open, we have been advised for Rhea not to go back as myself and one of the other children are deemed at risk because of asthma. My partner has had to go on anti-depressants at quite a high dose and sleeping pills since lockdown. And I really feel like I’ve lost any sense of self. I love being a mum, but being mum and carer 24/7 with no break has an impact on wellbeing and relationships.”
If you have been affected by the lockdown measures in this way share your story on social media using the hashtag, #LeftInLockdown
Let your MP know about our survey and your experiences by tagging them into your #LifeInLockdown social media posts. You can find their details here.